Date of Award
Master of Science
B. L. Bledsoe
James B. McLaren, John H. Reynolds, John I. Sewell
Comparative experiments included high density rolls, low density rolls and low density stacks of Midland bermudagrass and Kobe lespedeza hays. Machine performance characteristics and packaging capacities were determined with the different hays. Package characteristics, handling capacities and densities were recorded for each package type. Effects of package type and storage (inside and outside) on curing temperature, depth of spoilage and cattle acceptance were measured. Feeding trials conducted at the end of a three-month storage period determined cattle preference for package type and the amount of hay refused for each package type with both bermudagrass and lespedeza hays. The low density roll baler had the greatest overall packaging capacity with either grass or lespedeza hay (20.6 metric tons or 22.72 tons per hour). For all machines, the packaging capacity was greater with grass hay than with lespedeza. However, the lespedeza formed into better shaped packages that were easier to move without loss. The best overall handling capacity was with low density, compressed stacks (13.3 metric tons or 14.7 tons per hour). The curing temperatures in the high density roll bales were greater than in other package types. The high moisture packages had greater curing temperatures than low moisture packages. Hay type had little effect on curing temperatures. Depth of spoilage was greater for the lespedeza stacks; the high density rolls had the lowest spoilage depths. Spoilage depths were inversely related to the density of the packages. Density had less effect on spoilage depth for bermudagrass packages because of the thatched covering formed on the outside. Floored and roofed feed bunks with sliding gate panels kept "trampling" losses below 5 percent. High density packages of lespedeza had less spoilage and were preferred by cattle. When hay packages of equal quality were fed, a preference for low density stacks was noted. High density rolls were more readily eaten by cattle when the rolls were placed on end inside the feeders. The low density lespedeza rolls had the largest amount of hay refused by the cattle. All the hay was eaten from packages stored inside.
Robertson, David Rodney, "A comparison of machinery for harvesting, handling and feeding both midland bermudagrass and lespedeza hays in large packages. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1975.